Category: WEAAD Blog

  • Confronting Ageism, Racism, and Abuse in Later Life During COVID-19

    Katie Block, MSW, MPHNational Resource Center for Reaching Victims Project CoordinatorNational Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life Sara Mayer, MACommunications CoordinatorNational Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, older adult victims of crime and abuse experienced unique challenges and systemic barriers to accessing healing and justice services. The pandemic has exacerbated these barriers and created new challenges for older survivors in addition to the added stress and trauma of being higher risk for contracting and suffering from COVID-19. Tragically, as we ready ourselves for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2020, we’re also coming to terms with the fact that elder abuse is on the rise during

  • Learning from each other – Responding to Elder Abuse in Australia

    The abuse of our elders is a serious human rights issue. I hear harrowing stories of elder abuse each week; stories of people being pressured for money by their family, losing their entire life savings, suffering physical or sexual abuse and having their medication stolen. We grapple with common issues internationally to address elder abuse. The drivers and manifestations of abuse are similar, as are the challenges in responding and preventing abuse. As it is in the United States, financial abuse is the most common form of elder abuse in Australia, most often perpetrated by the victim’s son or daughter. It is vital we learn from other countries’ experiences of,

  • Older Adult Support for Elder Abuse Victims

    There is rising awareness that the number and complexity of abuses against the elderly is growing significantly. Whether they’re the victims of financial abuse or mistreatment at the hands of family members, strangers, or professionals, we know that older adults who have been exploited find it difficult to regain their sense of trust and security. This grim reality leaves us wondering how does one really help prevent, and hopefully end, the victimization of these vulnerable citizens? I strongly recommend engaging the services of Senior Corps volunteers serving across the nation. Our volunteers are well-established within their communities and provide a variety of tangible and intangible impact and benefits to the

  • World Elder Abuse Awareness Day: Using the Past to Re-Write the Future

    World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) is celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2020! This milestone, and this new decade, gives us pause to consider what we have done, where we are going, and if we are making a difference. We know the creativity and energy of WEAAD have impacted the awareness of elder mistreatment worldwide and this is reassuring. We were so ambitious, so hopeful, and so full of dreams on the first inaugural meeting at the UN on June 15th, 2006. We received recognition from older people, from families, the community and indeed governments. Early WEAAD activities were cautious, careful, original, ambitious, lots of fun and goodwill. Everyone connected with an event was striving for the best, and they were not disappointed. They were delighted with the

  • Lifting Up the Voices of Older Survivors

    This year, the National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (NCALL), a project of End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin, is celebrating its 20th anniversary. For the past 20 years, our staff have learned from the stories and lived experiences of older survivors and used that knowledge to inform the project’s national leadership in ending abuse in later life. For two decades, NCALL staff have authored articles, curricula, and resources for various audiences related to abuse in later life and the unique issues facing older adults and survivors of abuse. In our role as the Training and Technical Assistance Provider for the OVW Abuse in Later Life Grant Program, we have supported

  • Dispatching Support to Older Adults

    This past February, when the 20-year veteran cab driver Rick Spencer received the dispatch to pick up his next fare, he knew something was amiss. An hour earlier, while Mr. Spencer was waiting at a Quincy, Massachusetts cab stand for his next customer, a fellow taxi driver told him about his curious last ride. An older passenger, who had never used the car service before, told the driver that she needed to buy a housewarming gift for her grandson, and directed him to a remote Home Depot, though there was a closer store in her area. She purchased two gift cards, each worth $2000, and returned home. Shortly thereafter, a

  • Safeguarding Guardianship for Older Adults

    The United States population of adults aged 65+ is expected to double by 2030.  The growing segment of the population are people aged 85+, often those most likely to need increased assistance as they experience physical and/or cognitive changes. Adults may designate (or be designated) a guardian to make financial or health care decisions, or both, typically appointing a family member.  Most guardians endeavor to ensure the best quality of life for those they serve by making responsible decisions about the person’s health, safety, and finances. Powers given to guardians can be immense (e.g., ability to sell a person’s home and personal property, enter into contracts, clear all medical treatments).

  • Southern California Kaiser Permanente Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse Prevention Program

    How do we tackle a problem that is not just local to our organization but one resultant from deep societal and health care system failures? As we looked at this problem on a grander scale, it became apparent that to address elder abuse effectively, our organization would need to answer an equally grander question—how do we take care of our vulnerable elderly?

  • The Reframing Initiative in the Context of Social Work

    In early 2017, shortly after I began collaborating with NCEA and the FrameWorks Institute on the Reframing Elder Abuse initiative, I was asked whether I had experience with framing. Since that time, I’ve realized how congruent the initiative is with the social work profession I represent on the Reframing Elder Abuse Committee and the NCEA Advisory Board. Effective communication is the goal of the reframing initiative: How can advocates communicate about elder abuse in a way that builds public support for effective solutions? Similarly, communication is at the heart of social work. On a micro level, social workers facilitate and enhance communication not only among individual clients, families, and groups,

  • Shining Light on the Needs of Family, Friends, and Neighbors Assisting Elder Abuse Victims

    44 million adult Americans have provided assistance to an elder abuse victim. These family, friends and neighbors—also known as “concerned persons”—are often the first to know about the elder abuse, hearing it through their walls, witnessing the decline in the victim’s health, or noticing distress. They provide emotional and practical support to the victims, for example, by offering encouragement and advice, discussing options, identifying resources, reporting abuse, and even gathering evidence. These people are frequently the only ones preventing the victims from becoming totally isolated.



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Special Thanks to Judith D. Tamkin

We are sincerely appreciative to Judith D. Tamkin for her gift to help establish the USC Center on Elder Mistreatment’s website. Her deep and personal commitment to eradicating elder abuse is helping to reshape our understanding of elder abuse and ultimately save innumerable older adults from abuse and neglect.